Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Here comes Tuesday, October 30, 2018, and welcome to the friendly ol’ Daily Drip! Portland and the Valley are under a dense fog advisory until 10 AM. Then it’s clouds and a slight chance of showers today, with highs a feeble 55, then half an inch of rain tonight. Sunrise, taking its sweet time, will happen at 7:47 AM, with sunset right at 6:00 PM. Our next sunset of 6 PM or later will be on March 3.

I want to start with a random act of beauty on a trail in Portland’s Forest Park: somebody arranged red leaves in the shape of a large heart–and superimposed on it, in golden leaves, a Star of David. Autumn leaves, arrayed in honor of the Tree of Life, the temple in Pittsburgh.

Say, we had another little brush or two with Wizard of Oz weather, as a tornado warning was issued for Stayton, Sublimity, and Scio yesterday afternoon. The furious little storm cell dropped a ragged twirler that weakened after causing a minor amount of damage, and the warning was dropped at 4 PM. A stop sign near Jefferson was bent. There was also a darkly turning finger cloud reaching down from the sky in the north Forest Grove area, and a nursery owner says it wiped out four of his greenhouses. Sunday’s EF-Zero twister that pruned some trees at Portland Meadows, ripped the sheet metal off a warehouse, and rearranged a truck lot off Marine Drive was the first tornado in the Portland city limits since 1972–but that one was much nastier. Killed six people and injured hundreds when it skipped over to Vancouver. So we’re not immune to this stuff. Let’s keep those ruby slippers handy in case we need a quick getaway!

Seven days to go until the mighty midterms. Let’s see how the early ballots are stacking up: Oregon has logged 418,000 votes so far–that’s 15% of the registered total–and Wheeler County leads the way with a 35% return. Oooh…Washington County is the lowest at 12%. And how well are the parties turning out their bases? Check it out—Oregon’s Democrats and Republicans are virtually tied with 19% of their voters already doing the deed. But because Democrats far outnumber Republicans here, there are about 50,000 more ballots from Democrats in the collection box. The State of Washington, by the way, has a 17% turnout so far, and Clark County is among the top, at 22%. Your vote is counted one week from tonight. Your vote counts!

Back to Pittsburgh, where a sad and shaken city begins the funerals for eleven murdered people of the Jewish faith, even as President Trump and the First Lady have announced plans to fly in for a visit today. The Mayor of Pittsburgh wishes they wouldn’t–the police are already swamped providing safety and security for the memorial services–and some, but not all, local Jewish leaders, oppose Trump’s visit because they see his rhetoric as enabling such violence.

The Pentagon is sending 5,200 troops to the Mexican border to block the migrant caravan of refugees fleeing poverty and gang violence in Central America.

The body of a young woman was found on the grounds of Camp Namanu, a well-known Campfire retreat in the Sandy area. She was a victim of homicidal violence, was not connected to the camp, and has not been identified.

We hear there’s been an epidemic of locker break-ins at gyms in Portland, with wallets being stolen from folks while they’re working out–and debit cards being used while they’re still trotting on the treadmill.

PSU begins a series of public forums today on whether campus officers should carry guns.

Oregon natural gas rates go down in November–for the fourth year in a row. It’s getting cheaper to drill for natural gas. A little thing called fracking.

The Blazers beat the Indiana Pacers last night, and head to Houston tonight.

*****

This was the night 80 years ago, in 1938, when our Depression-weary great-grandparents, jittery about another war looming in Europe, had the stuffing scared out of them by a CBS radio play called “The War of the Worlds”–aired on KOIN, AM 970 in Portland– in which a program of piano music by Chopin and Debussy was interspersed with shocking (but fictitious) news bulletins of explosions on Mars and crashing cylinders in New Jersey, from which emerged ghastly tentacled creatures firing deadly heat rays…then a long interlude of Chopin…..then the sound of screaming people diving in panic into the East River ..and another agonizingly long stretch of piano music…and finally Martian cylinders crashing all over a doomed country. Disclaimers were inserted at several points in the broadcast, but that didn’t stop a fair number of people from panicking–my Chicago grandparents went and pulled my Dad, who was 10, out of a movie theater. Historians say many people believed they were listening to actual to news reports, but misunderstood the identity of the attackers–instead of aliens from Mars, many listeners thought they were German invaders.

****

Let’s harvest a few choice headlines for the link farm, lovingly tended by your radio Daddio. Click here.

–“Helicopter Upsets Tennis Player With PTSD, Teammate Abandons Game to Comfort Him Using a Song”

–“Muslims Raise Money For Pittsburgh Synagogue Victims”

–“Is it possible that artificial glowing plants created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology can Replace Streetlights?”

–“Maine will help you pay off your student loans if you move there”

–“Business booming at Steve’s Pizza as word of good deed spreads”

***
It’s the 303rd day of the year, with 62 to go. Tasks undone? 2018 resolutions unkept? Probably time. See you on 103.3!

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